What IS the Human Person?: Weekly Message for 12-12-2023

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).

Christ…fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear (Gaudium et Spes 22).

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that the fundamental question of our age is a question of identity. In other words, it’s a question of what IS. Jason Bourne, an amnesiac assassin, frames the question wonderfully in the film The Bourne Identity.

“I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed … I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab of the grey truck outside. And at this altitude I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking… How can I know that, and not know who I am?”

How indeed. We seem to know everything except who we are. We attempt to answer every question except the question, “What IS the human person?” There is an astoundingly clear answer. It’s an answer articulated in the Judeo-Christian tradition, but it’s an answer meant for everyone because it’s true. It’s an answer that’s so obvious we might easily overlook it, but everything else hinges on it.

We know what the human person is: Created in the image and likeness of God, created male and female, created out of love and for love, created with a mind to know the truth and a will to freely choose it, created with emotions meant to draw us towards true beauty, created with a calling in life.

This Christmas, as we celebrate the Birth of Our Lord in the flesh, we remember that, by God’s grace, we know the answer to the great question of our age. We know what the human person is — we know who the human person is. Perhaps it’s time to make the obvious, well, obvious again. 

God bless you,

Fr. John Pietropaoli
Two Priests and a Mic podcaster


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